FRANCHISE & DISTRIBUTION

As a franchisor, you need a partner who knows your business and has the experience to advise you on strategies that will help you operate, grow and protect your business.

Helping Franchisors Succeed

The lawyers in our Franchise and Distribution group encompass many areas of law, including corporate finance, federal and state regulation compliance, intellectual property, litigation, labor and employment, government contracts, tax and real estate. We are a cross-section of attorneys recognized by clients and peers in The Best Lawyers in America, Franchise Times' “Legal Eagles,” Super Lawyers, “Top Up and Comers” and “Lawyers on the Fast Track.” And we have been quoted and published in leading franchise trade publications such as Franchise World, Franchise Times and LJN’s Franchising Business & Law Alert®.

When It Comes to Franchise & Distribution,
We’ve Got You Covered

Transactional

We can provide you with strategic advice to effectively manage your relationships with franchisees and to address the full spectrum of franchise-related issues, including:

  • The offer and sale of franchises.
  • The development and expansion of the franchise system.
  • Registration and protection of intellectual property.
  • Management of labor and employment matters.
  • International franchising.
Regulatory

Our attorneys assist franchisors in compliance with all federal and state regulations that apply to them, including any licensing other requirements.

Litigation

While sound advice and counsel can often help to prevent and resolve disputes without litigation, we also recognize that sometimes litigation is indeed the best strategy. With some franchise issues, compromises or settlements can have wide-reaching and negative consequences for the entire franchise system. Our litigators are known throughout the country for the successes we have achieved in court, and when litigation in any form or venue is the most appropriate option, we aggressively protect your interests. We have protected our clients’ interests in state and federal trials and appeals, mediations, arbitration tribunals (such as the AAA and ICDR), class actions and investigations from the Federal Trade Commission.

Among the services we can provide are:

  • Defending enforcement actions by federal and state franchise regulatory authorities.
  • Counseling on pre-litigation dispute resolution.
  • Enforcing franchisor quality standards, franchisee payment and reporting obligations, and post-termination restrictive covenants.
  • Avoiding and defending vicarious liability.

Our reported decisions include:

  • Bakrac, Inc. v. Villager Franchise Systems, Inc., 164 Fed. App. 820 (11th Cir.2006) (upholding grant of summary judgment in favor of franchisor on former franchisee's RICO claims and waiver of jury trial against franchisor)
  • Miron v. Sloan, CCH Bus. Franchise Guide ¶ 13,101 (S.D. Tex. May 13, 2005) (compelling arbitration against multiple franchisees who were raising claims based upon an allegedly defective Uniform Franchise Offering Circular)
  • KJ Loughery, Inc. v. KRK, Inc., CCH Bus. Fran. Guide ¶ 13170 (E.D. Pa. 2005) (secured preliminary injunctive relief for master franchisee through enforcement of restrictive covenant against franchisee)
  • Howard Johnson International, Inc. v. Craven Properties Ltd., Inc., CCH Bus. Fran. Guide ¶ 12,386 (M.D. Fla.) (granting preliminary injunctive relief in favor of franchisor against former franchisee using variation of franchisor's name after expiration of license agreement)
  • Century 21 Real Estate Corp. v. DiGennaro Real Estate, Inc., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1456, 2002 WL 126631, CCH Bus. Fran. Guide ¶ 12,260 (E.D.Pa. 2002) (securing contempt order against former franchisee for trademark infringement)
  • Athlete's Foot Marketing Associates v. Zell Investment, Inc., Civ. A. No. 00-186, 2000 WL 426186 (Feb. 17, 2000 W.D. Pa.) (granting preliminary injunction on behalf of franchisor seeking to enjoin terminated franchisee from infringing the marks and violating a post-termination non-competition agreement)